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Ego State Disorder - just stumbled upon this and it so very much resonates

extraterrestrialone

phoned home, no one answered
SF Supporter
#21
This topic has been very helpful to me, I have spent a long time trying to understand how my mind works (mainly because its not working properly with depression and anxiety and such) and this has turned it from an alien landscape I need to explore into something I understand and which makes sense, the idea of multiple egos existing even in healthy minds has made everything just fall nicely into place for me (as my egos are so wildly dissimilar), it also explains DID which I could never quite see as real before (though I never believed it was fake) because I couldn't understand the mechanic of how it works, now it seems as obvious and natural as any other mental dysfunction.



Ah, what I did wasn't something so natural as that, I was a smart cookie when I was small, and I noticed I was bad with people, (in hindsight it was due to my Aspergers, which I wasn't diagnosed with until I was 20) I was almost entirely non-expressive, distant, and my natural reactions were simply different to normal people, so consciously and deliberately I generated a persona which I meticulously constructed and perfected over the last 20+ years, things I did to construct this (in order of when I started them):
1) Repetitively practiced conversations whenever I was alone to make them flow more naturally and program which responses I would naturally reach for
2) Repeated phrases over and over to myself with different intonations until I found the one I thought sounded good
3) Practiced facial expressions and body language in the mirror for different emotions, not the ones I felt, but the ones I "should be feeling" and trained with them to be more natural
4) Implemented the above together in real situations practicing feigning the "correct" social and emotional response to stimuli and trying to feel the corresponding emotions tweaking my responses based on people's reactions
5) Repeatedly exposing myself to "correct" stimuli and involved social situations to force myself to become comfortable with and derive enjoyment from them.

With the exception of stage 5 (which came at university) the groundwork was laid in the first 10 years, since then I just tweak and practice. That "persona" is now a fully developed ego, one of my 2 primary ones and the one I inhabit most often, and the problem exists in that it is in DIRECT conflict with my other primary ego, the one I see as the "real" me. If "The Persona" and the "Real Me" met as separate people, they would not be friends, they have almost nothing in common.

So in short, I think I screwed myself.
Just my thought at the moment, that it is quite remarkable that you did all that. I kind of feel that it was done as an attempt to do what you felt was needed to be socially how you thought you should be vs the person you knew you were but not comfortable with socially. That attempt does not seem to me to have been a bad thing - as an attempt at self improvement. I spent years affirming self harm but now I am actively reversing that. I believe you can too! I don't think you are screwed. It is probably lots of work but I believe you can be successful ☺️.
 

LOSTINSIGHT

Well-Known Member
#22
hey Lost, this is great. thanks. the more resources the better. seems to me as if the professional segment of mental healthcare is not really interested since most of what i’ve found dates back to the early 2000s like this one (‘08) and i think the one i posted about above is from around the same time and most of what i’ve found about dissociation is from long ago also. I really believe that one must delve into this in their own head along with professional help before relying on meds, but this idea seems to be extremely unpopular.

one might argue it is unpopular with reason but i don’t think so - or that is to say, i believe the reason is that giving meds is easier and does not require deep involvement by the provider. (meds are convenient and money making - professional deep involvement is stressful to the professional provider).

i do my best to speak up about this subject with people here, my therapist, in my facebook post about mental health and with anyone else i’m able to talk about it with. honestly i think meds are actually detrimental if used before exploring Ego States and their respective Disorders. look at me! i have no degree but aside from being a victim of a Persecutory Ego State, (hijacker) for most of my life, and observing as best i can other people around me and what i read, i think i do have valid opinions and ideas on the subject. i hope one day i’m able to get a truly positive response from a mental health professional.
Thanks but it doesn't matter what people say or mean anymore cause everything keeps happening. It'd mean something about what someone says if things can change and if things would stop happening the way they happen. Then It'd mean something. Not trying to take it out on you I'm just venting right now.
I read the above, and I also did some other reading, though I struggled to find more than stubs, one such stub is this blurb which seems to be the clearest explanation of what ESD is distinct from DID: Ego State Disorders: Dissociative but not multiple. If anyone can give something which is more than a blurb which clearly describes ESD distinctly from DID, then that would be great, unfortunately the second I started reading up on ESD the headache I have had for the last week exploded, so its difficult to read atm. (Coincidence?)

Ok, I'm gonna try to sum this up and if anyone is interested enough, let me know if I'm on the right track. I coloured the stuff from the Trauma Awareness article in blue, and the stuff interpreted from the blurb and other sources in yellow, things figured out from a mixture of both is in green (for ease of distinction)

So what I'm getting from this is that everyone has multiple egos (i.e. sets of behaviours/variations of self-identity) created and developed to best deal with specific situations like a work persona and a home persona, or a withdrawn persona to help deal with a difficult relationship, furthermore we instinctively inhabit those egos in the appropriate situations and those egos each develop individually by taking on the good or bad of the situation to better adapt and handle the situation in future (like we imagine we do as a whole person), and that whilst the boarders between these egos are fluid, adaptive and open and you can happily transfer between them without issue you are considered functional and healthy, but when one becomes wildly distinct or dysfunctional and dissociated from the others, memories may not pass between them, and in extreme cases they may even become distinct personalities, then you are considered to have a dissociative disorder like DID or ESD (depending on severity)

ESD seems to be when there are semi-rigid boarders between egos and they seem to process and function distinctly from one another, but are not developed or distinct enough to be their own personalities. These dysfunctional egos can cause conflicts between one another when processing input and put pressure on your mind causing issues you are not consciously aware of until you inhabit each ego at which point you become aware of it, like explosive rage that only comes out when you inhabit the specific ego in question, but the rest of the time just gives problems like anxiety, depression or even somatic symptoms like chest pains or headaches. In extreme cases memories may not transfer properly between these egos causing gaps, but you are still essentially one person.

DID is when one or more of the egos become distinct, developed and rigidly separated enough that when you "inhabit" one of these egos you become functionally a different person, one you are maybe even unaware of when you are in different, more open egos, causing gaps in memory from when you were in that ego. As a functionally different personality this ego can come to form a complex relationship with the other egos even becoming adversarial.

Effective therapies for ESD and DID involve trying to loosen the boundaries again and get all the egos functioning towards united goals whilst strengthening the primary ego so it has greater control.

If I am understanding this correctly (and I kind of hope I'm not) I may have screwed myself with childish self-programming when I was younger and combined with an abusive parent may have caused very mild ESD. I do so hope I'm wrong, but this idea of separate egos even in healthy people does explain a few things nicely, since my personality is wildly different depending on situation.
Hi @Dante
I've headaches myself lately since reading(unfortunately it looks like I'm on the strong end,,feel like I've gaslighted myself my entire life ),,you make some great points ,,ile read again .
I've youtubed ESD and watched some stories.
I suppose we have to take everything with a pinch of salt ,,all my research kept coming back to the EGO over the years.years ago a therapist said ide the strongest self critic they ever seen.could the hijacker finally explain this ? ,I wonder .
Apologies, chat again ,im exhausted.
Cheers
 

LOSTINSIGHT

Well-Known Member
#23
HI Insight, i only just now got to watch the whole video. its very enlightening. so glad you posted it. i see it was made 9 or so years ago. do you know if theres been any follow ups? i’m going to send a link of this to my therapist and former therapist. i really love the idea of no meds! and it makes me feel so hopeful to see positive results like shown in this video. and to think in 2011, that was when i was first really trying to repair myself and hoping to do it without meds. no surprise though that i was put on meds. glad i quickly resisted though.
Hi @extraterrestrialone ,great you enjoyed it .
I follow Daniel, who made it,ile ask him .
Kudos you got away from meds .very sore subject for myself.
Have you heard of madinamerica.com,I'm not recommending because of there psychiatry criticism but for there articles and progressive ideas .
Cheers.
 

extraterrestrialone

phoned home, no one answered
SF Supporter
#24
Hi @extraterrestrialone ,great you enjoyed it .
I follow Daniel, who made it,ile ask him .
Kudos you got away from meds .very sore subject for myself.
Have you heard of madinamerica.com,I'm not recommending because of there psychiatry criticism but for there articles and progressive ideas .
Cheers.
Yeah I do know madinamerica. How do they criticize psychiatry? I'd like to hear more about that. I do recall reading an interesting progressive sounding article there but can't remember it at the moment.
 

LOSTINSIGHT

Well-Known Member
#25
Yeah I do know madinamerica. How do they criticize psychiatry? I'd like to hear more about that. I do recall reading an interesting progressive sounding article there but can't remember it at the moment.
The founder Robert withacker has written a book ,very critical of big pharma.just checked ,the book is 20 years old ,japers .
Check him out on YouTube.
There progressive and advocate open discussion.
 

extraterrestrialone

phoned home, no one answered
SF Supporter
#26
There was a member on this site from about the time I joined in 2017 until about a year+ ago. she’s a friend and I spoke to her often. I'm hoping that one day she'll return. and it was she who both heightened my skepticism of the reality of DID, and as well was a very good illustration of how DID is real - painfully real!

Unfortunately, what I've noticed about people with DID is they retreat very quickly and even permanently - I suspect - when they become infringed upon. Perhaps I had infringed on her space or maybe it was someone else who did. I know she was experiencing intense "real-life" issues at the time. That could be the reason. I think of her often and hope she's ok.

But one time in chat she suddenly switched personalities. she’d never done that before when i had been conversing with her. There was confusion and I still feel as if I had done some kind of unintentional violation of her system. Had we lived closer together I'd have just gone to see her.

But as "fake" as such a state might appear, it is definitely happening with reason and I know - from my own experience with hijacker as what I very much believe to be an ESD issue - even without a professional diagnosis - that the torment, frustration, anger, fear and confusion that is felt is so strong, that running away may sometimes be the only response available.

I too recently did that - run away - with a DID/Dissociation group I had been meeting with via Zoom. They have very specific rules of conduct in communicating, which I had trouble adapting to. I got angry once and brushed it under the carpet, but at the next meeting it happened again. the second time I felt really violated and my only recourse was to just storm out of the zoom and never return.

They still send me reminders, and I still feel as if expressing my position is necessary but at the same time would simply be taken as an act of non-compliance and violation of their space - if not outright hostility. To me this points out that they as individuals and group have defined their own comfort zone and I simply have a different comfort zone that conflicts. I suspect that this is also true for that former SF participant I mentioned above and myself. I think that this delicate balance where one may need to suddenly back away from a relationship or situation may be what brings on that belief that such dissociative/DID/ESD conditions could be fake - as seen by others - when they're not.

i have a set of secrets and i desperately want to be open about them yet at the same time i have the conflict of needing them closely guarded and not divulged. it causes issues, and if i were to discuss these issues with my wife for example, i know - through real experience - i then feel rage! it becomes a need to control the rage. that itself seems to be a cause to run away.

i often feel that when i’m able to discuss these secrets (in other situations, with other people) the reason is because my allowing my secrets to be known by others is not only an attempt at healing but also an act of self harm and a result of the hidden rage that hijacker has. it is like hijacker is allowing me to put myself into a situation of humiliation and rage at the same time and necessitating my need to run and hide. conflicting things happening at once resulting in the chaos that prevents the healing i’m trying to achieve.

i so much want to know how other people perceive this. does anyone else experience it? is this a common DID/ESD condition? yet so far in my attempts at healing, i’ve found no professional who is accepting enough of these disorders as diagnosis and possible treatments that could be tried, to be valid enough for them to actually try something other than prescribing meds or otherwise long term talk therapy with no specific healing but just hope that things will eventually get better.

it is as if they just don’t want to go there. the same is true for people who know this much about me. they don’t reply to my posts when i suspect they could, because they can’t relate or think i’m not sincere or i’m bordering on things that irk them just a bit too much or that i’m so full of issues that i write such long posts that they just become overwhelmed themselves.

ultimately, there seems to be very little attention given to EGO STATE issues compared to depression, anxiety etc where prescribing meds is a 1, 2, 3, done thing and in our society, doing anything else more forward thinking is easily then supposedly violating ethics and or laws and thus best to be avoided at all cost because its not the patient that is important but the career of a healthcare professional.

is this the grip of the pharma industry over us? the grip of the insurance industry? or our roots being firmly planted in the dark ages - leading those involved with mental healthcare being so closed minded and playing it safe. for me, it just keeps me working on my own and doing my best to try to lead those professionals - whenever possible - who work with me - into thoughts of more effective treatment.
 

Dante

Git
SF Pro
SF Supporter
#30
Nope, nevermind, my google-fu is starting to get results.

Searching for "Ego State Disorder" gets you nowhere, but searching "Ego State Theory" or "Structural Dissociation" seems to get better results, structural dissociation seems to be slightly different but essentially the same.

I'm also finding tangentially related articles online and skimming off the sources which look useful.

Scrounging what I can find (sorry if they are shit or incomplete):

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/living-emotional-intensity/201907/do-you-have-normal-part-and-traumatized-part#:~:text=Structural dissociation causes the inability,personality, feelings, and behavior.

https://www.isst-d.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/GUIDELINES_REVISED2011.pdf



From Dissociation and the Dissociative Disorders by John A. O'Neil & Paul F. Dell (I had to type this out myself so forgive spelling errors or typos, it wont let me copy paste from this source: file:///G:/Users/Tom/Desktop/Dissociation%20and%20the%20Dissociative%20Disorders%20-%20Google%20Books.html)

..."Ego-State disorders are substantially equivalent to what I am calling dissociated structures and what Van der Hart and colleagues call structural dissociation. All three of these concepts (i.e. ego-state disorders, dissociated structures, and structural dissociation) embrace DID, DDNOS-1 and Dissociative Fugue. Here, however, I use the term ego-state disorder in a much narrower sense, one that is commonly used by dissociation-savvy clinicians. Clinicians often apply the term ego-state disorder to a clinical presentation that stems from a relatively simple dissociated structure - a structure that falls far short of DID, DDNOS-1, or Dissociative Fugue. Such cases fall ay the lower end of the continuum of dissociated structures (and the lower end of the continuum of structural dissociation, and the low end of the continuum of ego-state disorders). For a detailed account of the entire continuum of ego-state disorders, see Dell (2009c)
In contrast to the ego-states of DID, DDNOS-1 and Dissociative Fugue (i.e. alters or dissociated structures) the ego-states of persons with minor ego-state disorders never assume executive control of the person (i.e. switches do not occur). These ego-states can, however, be "called out" during hypnosis (Watkins and Watkins 1997). During ego-state therapy, their concerns can be empathically listened-to and ego-states can often be persuaded to cease their hitherto maladaptive solutions and to adopt a new solution that is less counterproductive and more acceptable to the person as a whole.
Ego-states influence the person via "intrusions from within" (Dell, 2009b), Intrusions from within manifest themselves as psychological automatisms - intrusions into the person's executive functioning and sense of self. In minor ego-state disorders, the person does not dis-own these intrusions or even experience them as alien. Instead, the person experiences them the intrusions in the form of psychophysiological symptoms such as headaches, or even as compulsion to surrender to an unfortunate, but ego-syntonic, urge for maladaptive behaviour (Watkins & Watkins, 1997)

You know what, its nearly 3am, im tired and its getting hard to type. Its on page 774, I added a link. I am kinda considering just BUYING one of these books. The above goes onto describe dissociative amnesia and more, but I'm too tired to copy it out by hand.
 

extraterrestrialone

phoned home, no one answered
SF Supporter
#31
Nope, nevermind, my google-fu is starting to get results.

Searching for "Ego State Disorder" gets you nowhere, but searching "Ego State Theory" or "Structural Dissociation" seems to get better results, structural dissociation seems to be slightly different but essentially the same.
This is some amazing research you're doing Dante. I would crumble trying the same thing. I really appreciate all this. It makes me feel hopeful when so easily I could be otherwise.

I have a few sites that pertain to dissociation and DID. One is the site that has the Dissociation group that got me upset. What is so important is that they are real people who live with DID/dissociation. Though getting close to them may turn out to be impossible.
 

extraterrestrialone

phoned home, no one answered
SF Supporter
#32
I just need to point out that these "sites" are not mine. I've bookmarked them and have visited them from time to time.

Also I had intended to say a lot more and probably revise all before touching "Post reply" but I was suddenly overcome with sleep 😴 and I was not even sure I did post at the moment I let the phone drop.
 

extraterrestrialone

phoned home, no one answered
SF Supporter
#33
and @LOSTINSIGHT i don’t think i mentioned enough your research. it’s important to mention that when doing research i begin to fall asleep. i don’t fully take in what i’m reading. i begin to feel tormented. then procrastination begins to set in. yet this subject is something very important for me and for others and i try to learn as much as i can and if at all, try to spread the word about what i’ve learned and my resulting beliefs. i truly believe that one of my Ego States just wants to shut off altogether. i’ve been haunted all my life by difficulty with staying awake when studying needs to come into play. last night i was not so burned out that i was physically desperate for sleep. i should have been able to stay awake.
 

LOSTINSIGHT

Well-Known Member
#34
and @LOSTINSIGHT i don’t think i mentioned enough your research. it’s important to mention that when doing research i begin to fall asleep. i don’t fully take in what i’m reading. i begin to feel tormented. then procrastination begins to set in. yet this subject is something very important for me and for others and i try to learn as much as i can and if at all, try to spread the word about what i’ve learned and my resulting beliefs. i truly believe that one of my Ego States just wants to shut off altogether. i’ve been haunted all my life by difficulty with staying awake when studying needs to come into play. last night i was not so burned out that i was physically desperate for sleep. i should have been able to stay awake.
Hi @extraterrestrialone ,I know the feeling ,I've got terrible chronic fatigue and anxiety, one part of me wants answer's but the other part hasn't the energy to compute the information.
Total kudos and respect to @Dante ,we need a good fresh and functional brain that's able to do the research.
Thanks @extraterrestrialone ,take care .
 

Dante

Git
SF Pro
SF Supporter
#35
My reading stamina is crap, but with enough interest I can push through. One of those links i posted yesterday has interesting things to say about presentations, prevalence, diagnosis and development of DID. (This one I can copy and paste, yay)

So just skimming the early parts of "Guidelines for Treating Dissociative Identity Disorder in Adults, Third Revision" some info springs out. I summarised each section in "Dante Version" in-case it gets too dry. I also coloured Original Text in Orange, and Dante Version in Green.

Do tell me if I make any incorrect assumptions or interpretations, if this is all just kinda patronisingly "spoon-fed". or if my "Dante's Version" is just not necessary... (You said you had trouble researching so I tried, also summarising for others is the best way to organise and distil new understanding)

Diagnostic Criteria for DID
The DSM–IV–TR (American Psychiatric Association, 2000a) lists the following diagnostic criteria for DID (300.14; p. 529):
A. The presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states (each with its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and self).
B. At least two of these identities or personality states recurrently take control of the person’s behaviour.
C. Inability to recall important personal information that is too extensive to be explained by ordinary forgetfulness.
D. The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., blackouts or chaotic behavior during Alcohol Intoxication) or a general medical condition (e.g., complex partial seizures). Note: In children, the symptoms are not attributable to imaginary playmates or other fantasy play


Dante Version: @extraterrestrialone I think you have DID, you have 2 separately functioning identities, no single identity has executive control 100% of the time, you have gaps in memory and none of this is due to drugs or other underlying conditions like complex partial seizures.

Excerpt from EPIDEMIOLOGY, CLINICAL DIAGNOSIS, AND DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURES
...The difficulties in diagnosing DID result primarily from lack of education among clinicians about dissociation, dissociative disorders, and the effects of psychological trauma, as well as from clinician bias. This leads to limited clinical suspicion about dissociative disorders and misconceptions about their clinical presentation. Most clinicians have been taught (or assume) that DID is a rare disorder with a florid, dramatic presentation. Although DID is a relatively common disorder, R. P. Kluft (2009) observed that “only 6% make their DID obvious on an ongoing basis” (p. 600). R. P. Kluft (1991) has referred to these moments of visibility as “windows of diagnosability” (also discussed by Loewenstein, 1991a). Instead of showing visibly distinct alternate identities, the typical DID patient presents a polysymptomatic mixture of dissociative and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms that are embedded in a matrix of ostensibly nontrauma-related symptoms (e.g., depression, panic attacks, substance abuse, somatoform symptoms, eating-disordered symptoms). The prominence of these latter, highly familiar symptoms often leads clinicians to diagnose only these comorbid conditions. When this happens, the undiagnosed DID patient may undergo a long and frequently unsuccessful treatment for these other conditions.


Dante Version: "Clinicians" arent trained well enough, and dont look hard enough to ever actually diagnose DID except in rare cases because DID is seen as far more rare than it is, most people with DID only show diagnosable symptoms for a fraction of time, for the rest of the time they seem normal and show generalised dissociative tendencies and a host of common disorders like depression, panic attacks, substance abuse, eating disorder and physical symptoms like headaches or chest pains, and so on and so forth, and since clinicians arent looking for DID and wouldnt know what to look for if they were, people with DID usually end up diagnosed and treated for the "comorbid" conditions (conditions that happen at the same time) treatments which ultimately fail because they are not being treated for the underlying cause (DID), only the symptoms (Depression, anxiety etc).

Dell and O’Neil’s (2009) definition of Dissociation:
The essential manifestation of pathological dissociation is a partial or complete disruption of the normal integration of a person’s psychological functioning. . . . Specifically, dissociation can unexpectedly disrupt, alter, or intrude upon a person’s consciousness and experience of body, world, self, mind, agency, intentionality, thinking, believing, knowing, recognizing, remembering, feeling, wanting, speaking, acting, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and so on. . . . [T]hese disruptions . . . are typically experienced by the person as startling, autonomous intrusions into his or her usual ways of responding or functioning. The most common dissociative intrusions include hearing voices, depersonalization, derealization, “made” thoughts, “made” urges, “made” desires, “made” emotions, and “made” actions. (p. xxi)

Dante Version: I think he said it quite well, so TLDR version instead: The mind's reasoning, perception, bodily experience, will, belief structures etc should all connect fluidly together, Dissociation is where a part of the mind is functionally separated from the rest and this separation usually feels like an entirely foreign entity interfering with the mind as a whole. This can be seen as thoughts, urges, desires, emotions, or actions which are forced upon the mind of the sufferer from outside rather than being part of their mental process, or an addition or derealisation of the sufferer's perception of their surroundings (hearing voices, things not seeming real etc)

Theories on the Development of DID
It is outside the scope of these Guidelines to provide a comprehensive discussion of current theories concerning the development of alternate identities in DID (see Loewenstein & Putnam, 2004, and Putnam, 1997, for a more complete discussion). Briefly, many experts propose a developmental model and hypothesize that alternate identities result from the inability of many traumatized children to develop a unified sense of self that is maintained across various behavioral states, particularly if the traumatic exposure first occurs before the age of 5. These difficulties often occur in the context of relational or attachment disruption that may precede and set the stage for abuse and the development of dissociative coping (Barach, 1991; Liotti, 1992, 1999). Freyd’s theory of betrayal trauma posits that disturbed caregiver–child attachments and parenting further disrupt the child’s ability to integrate experiences (Freyd, 1996; Freyd, DePrince, & Zurbriggen, 2001). Fragmentation and encapsulation of traumatic experiences may serve to protect relationships with important (though inadequate or abusive) caregivers and allow for more normal maturation in other developmental areas, such as intellectual, interpersonal, and artistic endeavors. In this way, early life dissociation may serve as a type of developmental resiliency factor despite the severe psychiatric disturbances that characterize DID patients (Brand, Armstrong, Loewenstein, & McNary, 2009).

Severe and prolonged traumatic experiences can lead to the development of discrete, personified behavioral states (i.e., rudimentary alternate identities) in the child, which has the effect of encapsulating intolerable traumatic memories, affects, sensations, beliefs, or behaviors and mitigating their effects on the child’s overall development. Secondary structuring of these discrete behavioral states occurs over time through a variety of developmental and symbolic mechanisms, resulting in the characteristics of the specific alternate identities. The identities may develop in number, complexity, and sense of separateness as the child proceeds through latency, adolescence, and adulthood (R. P. Kluft, 1984; Putnam, 1997). DID develops during the course of childhood, and clinicians have rarely encountered cases of DID that derive from adult-onset trauma (unless it is superimposed on preexisting childhood trauma and preexisting latent or dormant fragmentation).

Another etiological model posits that the development of DID requires the presence of four factors: (a) the capacity for dissociation; (b) experiences that overwhelm the child’s nondissociative coping capacity; (c) secondary structuring of DID alternate identities with individualized characteristics such as names, ages, genders; and (d) a lack of soothing and restorative experiences, which renders the child isolated or abandoned and needing to find his or her own ways of moderating distress (R. P. Kluft, 1984). The secondary structuring of the alternate identities may differ widely from patient to patient. Factors that may foster the development of highly elaborate systems of identities are multiple traumas, multiple perpetrators, significant narcissistic investment in the nature and attributes of the alternate identities, high levels of creativity and intelligence, and extreme withdrawal into fantasy, among others. Accordingly, therapists who are experienced in the treatment of DID typically pay relatively limited attention to the overt style and presentation of the different alternate identities. Instead, they focus on the cognitive, affective, and psychodynamic characteristics embodied by each identity while simultaneously attending to identities collectively as a system of representation, symbolization, and meaning.

The theory of “structural dissociation of the personality,” another etiological model, is based on the ideas of Janet and attempts to create a unified theory of dissociation that includes DID (Van der Hart et al., 2006). This theory suggests that dissociation results from a basic failure to integrate systems of ideas and functions of the personality. Following exposure to potentially traumatizing events, the personality as a whole system can become divided into an “apparently normal part of the personality” dedicated to daily functioning and an “emotional part of the personality” dedicated to defense. Defense in this context is related to psychobiological functions of survival in response to life threat, such as fight/flight, not to the psychodynamic notion of defense. It is hypothesized that chronic traumatization and/or neglect can lead to secondary structural dissociation and the emergence of additional emotional parts of the personality.

In short, these developmental models posit that DID does not arise from a previously mature, unified mind or “core personality” that becomes shattered or fractured. Rather, DID results from a failure of normal developmental integration caused by overwhelming experiences and disturbed caregiver–child interactions (including neglect and the failure to respond) during critical early developmental periods. This, in turn, leads some traumatized children to develop relatively discrete, personified behavioral states that ultimately evolve into the DID alternate identities.

Dante Version: Opinions vary on the exact mechanic behind the development of DID, three main theories are summarised below (though if you are not feeling it, you can skip to the "Summary".

Theory 1: An abusive relationship with a caregiver will cause the mind to see the caregiver as both a serious and destructive danger, and someone they must rely on to live, in order to function and survive it generates more than 1 sense of self (Ego), one which can allow the child to form a relationship with the caregiver, trust them and depend on them, and one which allows the child to see the caregiver as the terrible danger and protect himself from it. As time and abuse go on and the need for separate egos continues, they develop into separate rudimentary identities in their own right, allowing the primary ego to grow and becoming a functional person, as the sub-ego continues to absorb all the emotional damage, and continues to separate from the primary ego, taking the damage with it. As the mind develops the alternate ego can develop, fracture into more egos, or simply continue to separate, maybe even being completely buried along with memories of the abuse the child suffered, regardless, the alternate develops into one or more functionally separate personalities.

Theory 2: Similar to 1, except more clinical. The child needs
A) A capacity to dissociate
B) Experiences which overwhelm the child's ability to process
C) A separate generated set of personal characteristics to attribute to an alternate self (Age, name, gender, etc)
D) A lack of positive and soothing experiences to balance the trauma
With the above, alternate personalities naturally develop as a coping mechanism, the more extreme or numerous the traumas, and the more investment in the construction of alters, the more developed and numerous the alters. This theory means the important part of the alter to a clinician is the characteristics which differ from the primary personality, as they speak to the type of trauma which made them.


Theory 3: DID is caused when a developing mind is unable to pull all its developing beliefs, behaviours and experiences into a single unified mind due to some trauma, (using a sudden murder of a parent as an example, a friendly outgoing personality cannot coexist with the belief that at any moment, any stranger could suddenly kill a loved one of yours) so the mind divides into the "Normal every-day personality" and the "Defence Personality" The first allowing you to function normally, trust, play etc, and the second remaining vigilant and ready to fight off or escape imminent threats, the 2nd being like an in-built bodyguard, always on alert so you don't have to be. With repeated traumas or neglect the Defence personality can further divide as needed to guard against multiple potential threats.

Summary: Basically every theory is based on the idea that DID is caused when the developing mind of a child develops naturally into multiple personalities rather than 1 as a way of coping with excessive stresses and traumas around them. In cases where DID does develop in adulthood it is believed that this is a once-buried alternate from childhood being dragged to the surface again by the mind to help shield the primary personality from fresh trauma and NOT a result of the adult mind fracturing.

Sigh... There goes my evening... Interesting though.
 
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extraterrestrialone

phoned home, no one answered
SF Supporter
#36
Dante Version: @extraterrestrialone I think you have DID, you have 2 separately functioning identities, no single identity has executive control 100% of the time, you have gaps in memory and none of this is due to drugs or other underlying conditions like complex partial seizures.
whoa, so much to think about. Thanks for all of this. and don’t get me wrong - i will eagerly read all and consider it. it just will take a little time. but right off, when you said the above quoted, it actually made my heart pound momentarily. just the thought of it being considered real in any way is a bit frightening. i’ve had about 3 or 4 MH professionals agree that there are similarities. hijacker - when it comes out - would never come out and take this body along with it to wherever we may go. it does not want to intermingle with real other people. so it is kind of only out when i’m alone. and i am aware all the time. just at certain points helpless when it comes to trying to disobey its command to inflict injury on myself. i do know what is going on and desperately do not want to do it but, well, it happens nonetheless. That is why i say only ESD for myself. now that i’m just starting out in an intensive program, i do intend to speak up about DID and ESD and how i believe this really does apply to me.

now back to reading😊
 

extraterrestrialone

phoned home, no one answered
SF Supporter
#37
The difficulties in diagnosing DID result primarily from lack of education among clinicians about dissociation, dissociative disorders, and the effects of psychological trauma, as well as from clinician bias.
i think this is a point i’ve been trying to make all along. i just use other words. mental healthcare professionals put to much adherence to the concepts of depression and anxiety. they decide that i suffer from the two but stop there and don’t seem to consider that there may be more to it. this may be because there is such an abundance of and pressure to use meds for these and also the fear that trying to stray into uncharted territory may be deemed unethical and violate laws when really they could be making great advances. so they remain unaware of what else is going on and reject the notion that there even is something else going on. (i keep calling that dark ages thinking btw).
 

Dante

Git
SF Pro
SF Supporter
#38
whoa, so much to think about. Thanks for all of this. and don’t get me wrong - i will eagerly read all and consider it. it just will take a little time. but right off, when you said the above quoted, it actually made my heart pound momentarily. just the thought of it being considered real in any way is a bit frightening. i’ve had about 3 or 4 MH professionals agree that there are similarities. hijacker - when it comes out - would never come out and take this body along with it to wherever we may go. it does not want to intermingle with real other people. so it is kind of only out when i’m alone. and i am aware all the time. just at certain points helpless when it comes to trying to disobey its command to inflict injury on myself. i do know what is going on and desperately do not want to do it but, well, it happens nonetheless. That is why i say only ESD for myself. now that i’m just starting out in an intensive program, i do intend to speak up about DID and ESD and how i believe this really does apply to me.

now back to reading😊
Sounds a little like this (I am really tearing apart this paper I found :P)

Alternate Identities: Conceptual Issues and Physiological Manifestations
The DID patient is a single person who experiences himself or herself as having separate alternate identities that have relative psychological autonomy from one another. At various times, these subjective identities may take executive control of the person’s body and behavior and/or influence his or her experience and behavior from “within.” Taken together, all of the alternate identities make up the identity or personality of the human being with DID.


Ohh, though its a little wordy, I LOVE this description of alternate personalities, it presents personality as just a sum of a series of conponent functions, it makes it much easier to see alters as real since a personality isnt a complete thing, just a set of functions, and an alter is a 2nd set, or a subset.

A disaggregate self state (i.e., personality) is the mental address of a relatively stable and enduring particular pattern of selective mobilization of mental contents and functions, which may be behaviorally enacted with noteworthy role-taking and role-playing dimensions and sensitive to intrapsychic, interpersonal, and environmental stimuli. It is organized in and associated with a relatively stable . . . pattern of neuropsychophysiologic activation, and has crucial psychodynamic contents. It functions both as a recipient, processor, and storage center for perceptions, experiences, and the processing of such in connection with past events and thoughts, and/or present and anticipated ones as well. It has a sense of its own identity and ideation, and a capacity for initiating thought processes and action. (pp. 55)


In short, an Alter is like a sub-mind, a stable bubble of selective motivations, mental components, and behaviours which may have an assigned role within your mind as a whole and is triggered when internal or external stimuli dictate the facilitation of that role. This collection of motivations facets and behaviours acts as a stand-in for the rest of the mind for receiving, processing and storing information and experience regarding it's role with it's own identity and ability to generate ideas, thoughts and actions as needed.

It makes me think of an object in an object oriented programming language, each program will have a main code which does the big-picture stuff, but calls upon smaller self-contained sections of code to perform specific functions which often get repeated. It makes the code neater and more efficient, but the object called upon by the main code is like a miniature program all of its own with inputs, outputs and internal functions, functions the main code doesn't interact with.
 

LOSTINSIGHT

Well-Known Member
#39
https://courses.lumenlearning.com/wsu-sandbox/chapter/freud-and-the-psychodynamic-perspective/

Interesting perspective formed long ago by Freud.

I seem to have lived my entire life in defense mode .last year when I had a breakdown the unconscious became concoius thus the superego attacked the Id and ive been living in he'll since .
The ego seems to be stuck in the middle .
Fascinating, my childhood trauma originates 2 -6 and onwards ,witch explains stuck in the id .ie pleasure seekinging and addictions.
 
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Catch_22

Well-Known Member
#40
the qualities of persecutory alters. different “personalities” within a person’s mind. and how the persecutory alter assaults the individual. honestly i have not read that article since i posted it and what was most vivid in my mind was how similar what the author was describing is to what i call hijacker in me. it has been very cruel to me insisting that what it has cause i am worthy of. (at the same time, it also insisted that what it did to me was purely for its pleasure - and that it was just convenient that i deserved it too. hope this answer is helpful.
I understand this as I experience and have experienced similar. We call them persecutory parts.. typically imprinted by an abuser. Other people call them introjects or I've heard people without dissociation refer to it as the inner critic. These parts do lie. They don't speak the truth about your worth. They see it from their damaged perspective. The fact it's got elements of sadism makes me think it's from an abuser unless you feel you have some sadistic tendencies inside naturally. But even the name hijacked suggests it doesn't spawn from your nature, it's latched on without right.
 

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